The eleventh to the early fourteenth centuries saw a great transformation in the political, cultural and economic life of the Italian peninsula, marked by the rise of the autonomous city-states in the north and centre, the expansion of international trade, and the creation of a wealthy southern kingdom which reached the peak of its power in this period, before fragmenting in two in the late thirteenth century. It was also the period in which the various dialects
that we now call the Italian language came into being, and in which Tuscan in particular became the vehicle for impressive literary innovation.
Presenting a rounded view of Italy at a time when it was the most dynamic region in western Europe, this book looks at Italy in its entirety, rather than concentrating largely on the north, as previous studies have done. It also includes expert coverage of topics such as the family and the Jewish, Greek, and Muslim minority communities, in addition to its coverage of developments in the cities, rural life, trade, the monarchy, papal Italy, and language and culture.
David Abulafia is Professor of Mediterranean History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College. He has published widely on the history of the Mediterranean from the twelfth to the fifteenth centuries.
Introduction ; 1. Cities and Communes ; 2. Law and Monarchy ; 3. Papal Italy ; 4. The Signori ; 5. Trade and Navigation ; 6. The Family ; 7. Rural Italy ; 8. Material Life ; 9. Language and Culture ; 10. The Italian Other: Greeks, Muslims and Jews ; 11. Sardinia and Italy ; Conclusion ; Chronology, Bibliography, Maps